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The "God" Part Of The Brain
- Website for Matthew Alper's book which suggests that "humans are innately hard-wired to perceive a spiritual reality".
BBC - Science & Nature - Horizon - God on the Brain
- Is a part of our brains hardwired to generate religious feelings? Program summary for a BBC neurotheology special.
Book Review of Andrew Newburg's 'Principles of Neurotheology'
- "Principles of Neurotheology" is Andrew Newburg's seminal work that attempts to integrated the varied disciplines that comprise neurotheology. In NeuroQuantology [Dec 2010, vol 8, Issue 4, pages 600-602], the reviewers Persinger and Lavallee recommend this book as essential reading for scholars wishing to pursue this subject with scientific rigour. [PDF]
Ecstasy from a Physiological Point of View
- Discussion of relationship between drugs, celibacy, fasting and other physical practices and ecstasy. Presented by Kaj Bjorkqvist at Symposium on Religions Ecstasy held at Åbo, Finland, on the 26th-28th of August 1981.
Experimenting with Spirituality: Analyzing The God Gene in a Nonmajors Laboratory Course
- This is a report on a laboratory project for aiding student learning, in the context of Dean Hamers' book 'The God Gene', that proposes variations in the VMAT2 gene as playing a role in one's openness to spiritual experiences.
The God Gene
- Carl Zimmer critically reviews Dean Hamer's book "The God Gene: How Faith Is Hard-wired Into Our Genes".
Guardian: Tests of faith
- Article discussing evolutionary, anthropological (Boyer), and neuroscientific (Ramachandran, Newberg) aspects of religion.
How the Brain Creates God
- Broad-ranging overview by Iona Miller, touching on archetypes, NDEs, drugs, trances, TMS, and shamanism.
Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research - Magnetic Stimulation of the Temporal Cortex: A Partial “God Helmet” Replication Study
- Report by Brazilian researchers who conducted a Partial Replication study of Persinger's God Helmet and obtained results showing that suggestibility does not account for its reported effects. [PDF]
Key Scientific Papers
- Dr Rick Hanson presents a collection of public domain, fundamental science papers related to neuroscience, contemplative practice, and neurotheology.
Neuro-theology, literature and links - Uppsala University, Sweden
- An extensive and useful selection of resources on neurotheology.
Neurological Correlates of Transformational Experiences
- Article building on work of Persinger and d'Aquili, looking at near-death experiences with neuroimaging.
Neurology of Spiritual Experiences
- Articles on spiritual experience and magnetic signal brain stimulation by one of Michael Persinger's students.
Neurotheological Insurance For Atheism
- Neurotheology is the atheist’s ultimate weapon to empirically investigate matters termed as ‘spiritual’ without getting entangled in any of the establishments of religion.
Neurotheology - With God In Mind
- Neurotheology research and its implications are discussed from a psychological perspective.
Neurotheology on Wikipedia
- A brief but balanced overview of the field.
Neurotheology: Confirming the Existence of a Naturally Mystical Mind
- An article by Florentine Rutaganira, that has made it to the 'Prized Writing' section at ucdavis, covering the recent research into the relationship between brain processes and religious or mystical experiences. [PDF]
Numenware, a blog about neurotheology
- This blog on neurotheology has a good collection of relevant musings, most of them referencing contemporary articles, that have grown over the years.
The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation
- Online Introduction of a book by the same name, reviewing scientific studies on meditation research, discussing behavioral effects, and giving subjective reports. [PDF]
Physiology of meditation
- Article covering meditation and its relationship to the metabolism, autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, and central nervous system.
- Provides results from research into the effects of meditation using a variety of methods including EEG analysis. Areas of research include ADHD, epilepsy, asthma and menopausal hot flushes.
Sacred Pathways: The Brain’s Role In Religious and Mystic Experiences
- This Book, written by Todd Murphy, a member of a University Neurosciences group, was published in November 2013, and elaborates upon the brain's role in religious and mystic experiences. It has Forewords by His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet, and by Dr M.A. Persinger.
The Serotonin System and Spiritual Experiences
- Article in the American Journal of Psychiatry finds that "binding potential" (serotonin levels) correlated inversely with scores for self-transcendence, and concludes that the serotonin system may serve as a biological basis for spiritual experiences.
Sufism and Neurotheology
- An outlook from the Islamic perspective on neurotheology as the neuroscientific study of spiritual experience; especially within the context of Sufism.
What is Neurotheology?
- Neurotheology is the scientific field that is focused on studying the neurological activity of the brain during spiritual experiences.
What is Neurotheology? by Charles Zeiders
- In interview format, the author offers a brief perspective on neurotheology relevant to mental health providers.
Wired for the Ultimate Reality: The Neuropsychology of Religious Experience
- Article by Drs. Andrew Newberg and Eugene D'Aquili on the biological mechanisms underlying religious and spiritual experience, from the PBS "The Question of God" series.
Zen and the Brain
- Summary of "Zen and the Brain", James H. Austin's definitive work tracing the neuroscientific aspects of Zen.
What Really Happens In Our Brains When We Have Spiritual Experiences?
- A layman-friendly introduction to the empirical approach toward affective spiritual experiences; that consists of the neurotheological study of intersections among our brains, religion, philosophy, and spirituality. (October 19, 2013)
Neurotheology-Matters of the Mind or Matters that Mind?
- An attempt to understand the function of the mind and the brain, in relation to spiritual experiences, referred to as the emerging science of neurotheology. (May 08, 2013)
The Future of Neurotheology
- Andrew Newburg asks what this field of the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences will accomplish in the future, in terms of the philosophical, theological, and scientific issues. (December 24, 2010)
PLOS ONE: The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief
- This peer-reviewed study, an open-access resource, compares religious thinking with ordinary cognition; and finds that while religious and nonreligious thinking differentially engage broad regions of the frontal, parietal, and medial temporal lobes, the difference between belief and disbelief appears to be content-independent. (October 01, 2009)
Is this your brain on God?
- This webpage provides an introduction to neurotheology for laypersons by expanding on five topics. Among the topics covered are: The God Chemical, The God Spot, and The Biology of Belief. (July 21, 2009)
Alumnus transforms neurological activity of memories into colorful art exhibition - 'Neurotheology'
- University of Chicago alumnus Audrius Pliophys merges neurology and art in his works with the group-title "Neurotheology", so termed because he sees this artistic representaton of the human brain's ability to think philosophically as "spiritual". (October 05, 2006)
"Neurotheology": A semantic trap set by pseudo-science for the unwary scientist
- Article claiming there is no scientific rationale for the nouveau term "Neurotheology", and that researchers working on topics relating to religion should stick to the conventional behavioural and social neurosciences categories. (March 12, 2006)
Linking Out-of-Body Experience and Self Processing to Mental Own-Body Imagery at the Temporoparietal Junction
- Paper by Olaf Blanke and team on the neurocognitive bases of out-of-body (OBE) experiences, from Journal of Neuroscience. (January 19, 2005)
A Mystical Union
- Economist article giving overview of recent research in neurotheology. (March 04, 2004)
Meditation and the Brain
- Report on a conference held by MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, bringing together Buddhists and neuroscientists. (February 01, 2004)
Religiosity is associated with hippocampal but not amygdala volumes in patients with refractory epilepsy
- Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry article finding that epilepsy patients with high religiosity had smaller right hippocampi. (June 06, 2003)
What Buddhists Know About Science
- Wired article on relationship between Tibetan meditation and the brain. (July 22, 2002)
Are We Hardwired for God?
- The Guardian newspaper's review of Pascal Boyer's book "Religion Explained". (February 07, 2002)
Neurotheology & Shamanism
- Dr. Michael Winkelman, Anthropology Professor at Arizona State and author of "Shamanism: The Neural Economy of Consciousness", discusses the neurological basis of shamanism, mankind's oldest spiritual practice. (June 05, 2001)
This Is Your Brain on God
- Wired Magazine interview of Michael Persinger, leading figure in the reductionist school of neurotheology. (November 01, 1999)
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